What Is Your Leadership Style
All of the greatest and most prominent leaders in the world lead with different styles. Despite contrary belief, no leadership style is ‘better’ than another. However, some leadership styles can be more suited to a specific situation or audience, and for yourself. If you are in a situation where you are expected to be the leader, then it is best to know the leadership style that you should generally use beforehand. This is so you can understand how it benefits you, and when it is most effective.
A visionary leader has a dream/idea that they aspire towards. In order to fulfill this vision, a visionary leader motivates their team through a combination of self-belief and empathy. Visionary leaders do not necessarily tell their team how to achieve their goal, rather, they allow the team to develop their own strategies.
When to use it: When starting up a new company, or taking a dramatically different direction. This style is often used to inspire employees to achieve the ‘impossible’.
How to develop it: In order to inspire, it is imperative that you have an unwavering belief in yourself and your product/idea. Also, you will need to have empathy to understand how your employees think and be able to motivate them towards the end goal.
The coaching leadership style is very personal, as the emphasis is placed upon developing and engaging personally with members of your team. A coaching leader builds rapport and a strong work ethic among their team members by connecting their individual life goals to the organization’s goals.
When to use it: The coaching leadership style is particularly effective when establishing loyalty, and long-term capabilities within individuals.
How to use it: Coaching is all about helping your team members to understand how their work benefits themselves, as well as the company. In order to do this, make sure you have regular conversations with team members, and understand their dreams, strengths, and weaknesses.
Affiliative leaders place importance on forging emotional bonds within their team. This style is useful, as it establishes strong connections and a sense of harmony within the team.
When to use it: Affiliative Leadership is best suited to occasions where there has been conflict within the team, or the organization is about to enter a difficult phase.
How to use it: The affiliative leadership style is largely based on emotion. For instance, you will need to develop a strong sense of empathy to understand the emotions of your team, and a sense of compassion to understand both sides of a conflict.
The democratic leadership style places emphasis on listening, and allowing everybody’s voice to be heard. These types of leaders encourage their team to voice their opinions and ideas and take them into consideration when making decisions.
When to use it: Democratic leadership is best suited to situations where you need a second opinion, or need valuable input from your team. It can also be used to get all team members on board with a new idea or direction.
How to use it: To develop democratic leadership, start by practicing active listening, and getting your team to assist in important aspects such as decision-making and problem-solving.
The pace-setting leadership style involves setting lofty goals and expecting excellent performance from team members. A pace-setting leader does not generally tell their team how to perform the task but rather expects them to know what to do.
When to use it: Pace-setting leadership is great for extracting excellent results and performance from a motivated team. Keep in mind that this style should only be used in moderation, as it often leads to burnout and resentment among team members.
How to use it: In order to develop the pace-setting leadership style, set goals and tasks that you need to be accomplished in a limited, but doable time frame.
For an example of the commanding leadership style, look no further than the typical army commander. The commanding leader issues command to their team, which they expect to be obeyed without question.
When to use it: The commanding leadership style is most effective in situations of crises.It is similar to the pace-setting style, in that it should be used when necessary, as it is often construed as threatening and demanding.
How to use it: Channel commanding leadership by ordering swift demands, and taking a no-nonsense attitude.
Whatever your leadership style, it is important to remember that the best leaders are the ones that can change and adapt their leadership style to whatever they need it to be. Understanding when your leadership style works best, and when it doesn’t, will give you the knowledge to be a fair and capable leader.